Vinkel the Wood Owl

Vinkel is a little Wood Owl that lives at the Dullstroom Bird of Prey and Rehabilitation Centre. When he was a little chick he fell out of his nest. Well-meaning humans picked him up and tried to hand-raise him, feeding him a mix of minced meat and – shockingly – cotton wool; a horribly incorrect tip they found on the internet, supposedly meant to simulate the hair and feathers that owls normally ingest and then regurgitate as owl pellets. As a result, little Vinkel’s growth was stunted and he imprinted on humans, meaning that he can never be released into the wild – thankfully he made it to Dullstroom in time for his life to be saved. I think it is also necessary to mention at this point that any little bird found out of its nest is best returned to it or as close as can be to its parents if at all possible – it is not true that the parent birds, of any species, will reject a chick because it “smells” of human.

As a registered NGO receiving no government support, the Dullstroom Bird of Prey and Rehabilitation Centre relies heavily on donors, sponsors and the visiting public to fund their very important work. Their tiny staff compliment is responsible for the rehabilitation of between 80 and 200 birds of prey every year, all of them injured by or negatively impacted in another way by humans, and then releasing them back into the wild when theyโ€™ve recovered sufficiently. If you canโ€™t visit them in person, please visit their website and, if you are able to, assist them in their efforts by making a donation (monetary or in kind).

36 thoughts on “Vinkel the Wood Owl

  1. T Ibara Photo

    This little guy is a real fighter! I am so glad he made it safely to the centre and appears to be thriving now. I agree, it’s important for well-meaning folks to understand what to (or not to) do when coming across baby creatures…

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Indeed, Takami. Even when trying to do good we can do more harm if we don’t know the how’s and why’s. Thankfully the doors of places like the Dullstroom Bird of Prey and Rehab. Centre is always open to lend a helping hand.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. naturebackin

    Poor little chap – it is horrifying what well-meaning but misguided people can inflict on animals. At least he ended up getting proper care even though too late for him to be rehabilitated and released. He will at least be a wonderful ambassador for owls and for the centre.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I don’t know about “wise”, Sylvia. To me he looks more like the scientist from Back to the Future, very clever but so scatter brained! ๐Ÿ˜€
      But, he is so adorable and gets deep into your heart so quickly after meeting him.

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. Aletta - nowathome

    Ek is so bly hulle kon hom red! My gesin is vreeslik lief vir uile en in Eshowe het ons ‘n paar Wood Owls in ons tuin gehad. Hier in Langebaan is daar gelukkig ook nog baie uile. As jy dalk op Facebook is kyk gerus hierna: Owls of Langebaan Die Uil paar het nou al 3 jaar in die dame se blombak op haar stoep nes gemaak en haar kuikens daar grootgemaak!

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Anne

    You highlight how much misleading ‘advice’ there is on the internet and from well-meaning, yet ignorant, do-gooders (e.g. the ‘smell of humans’ bit). People are horrified when I suggest leaving a chick alone – keeping an eye on it or protecting it from cats or dogs is different altogether. The poor owlet being fed cotton wool! We once had no option but to hand rear a Burchell’s Coucal chick that had been savaged by someone’s pet – we ended up breeding mice to feed it!

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. Una

    De Wet, jy het nou behoorlik aan my hartsnare geraak met jou skrywe oor Vinkel. Ek het ล„ groot liefde vir hulle, veral omdat ons ล„ familie nonnetjies uile vir jare lank in ons plafon gehad het. Saans het hulle al vier op ล„ tak vir ons sit en kyk, so asof hulle ons verdra om in hulle huis te bly.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. scrapydo2.wordpress.com

    Dit is so maklik om die voeltjies op te tel en te probeer grootmaak. Ongelukkig is dit nie die beste manier nie want mens weet tog nie regtig wat hul eet nie. Die rehabilitasie plekke is tog maar die beste plek of soos jy noem, naby nes of waar ouers is. Ouers kom tog maar kyk waar kuiken skree of piep. Mooi ou wollerige uil.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      As do we, H.J. They really do marvelous work and deserve our support.

      By the way, I noticed now that my subscription to your blog was disabled in one way or another. Rather disconcerting as I’ve obviously missed out on a bunch of your special posts. I’ve signed up again and hope to catch up soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  7. sustainabilitea

    Running a little behind here evidently as I just got done reading and commenting on the post prior to this one. Vinkel is so cute, but what a shame he can’t be released into the wild. Good thin he made it here where he can not only live safely but share his handsomeness with visitors, in person or virtual. ๐Ÿ™‚

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      “Ag shame!” is a uniquely South African exclamation whenever we see something cute and cuddly. You should have heard the chorus of “Ag shame”s when little Vinkel was brought to the presentation, Janet. He does melt your heart.

      Liked by 1 person

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